Hong Kong’s one-man answer to National Geographic

South China Morning Post Magazine

Welcome to DocMartin

Packed with information, fabulous photos and videos, chiefly on wildlife, conservation, science and travel – especially in Hong Kong and across Asia.

Wildlife

Hong Kong Black Kites

Hong Kong Black Kites

As high-rises crowd both sides of Victoria Harbour, there is little wildlife in the heart of Hong Kong – so people can be surprised to look up and see large birds of prey gliding overhead. These…

Beidaihe Can Create Exciting Bird Reserve

Beidaihe Can Create Exciting Bird Reserve

[Based on speech I gave to audience inc leaders, at Beidaihe in May 2009] I first visited Beidaihe in spring 1985, as leader of an 8-member expedition studying bird migration. At the time, Beidaihe was almost unknown…

conservation

Fightback Needed as Science and Life Support System Under Attack

Fightback Needed as Science and Life Support System Under Attack

Growing up in the 1970s, I loved the outdoors and wildlife, and was highly impressed by the environmental movement, which to me seemed brimful of energy and optimism. “Save the…

Unrelenting China eco horror show threatens us all

Unrelenting China eco horror show threatens us all

I first came to China in 1985, to study bird migration at Beidaihe, on the coast east of Beijing. There was little traffic in the town, where carts pulled by…

science

The Viral Time Bomb – Pandemic of Our Time

[Written for South China Morning Post, on 29 February 2020] In 2007, four disease experts at the University of Hong Kong published a paper on SARS, in which they concluded,…

From China With Fear: the Wuhan Coronavirus Won’t Kill Us All

From China With Fear: the Wuhan Coronavirus Won’t Kill Us All

Written 23 January 2020; I’ve added a few later remarks in square brackets. Comic relief in pandemic time With pandemic diseases sometimes causing huge death tolls – notably bubonic plague…

travel

Old Towns and Snow Peaks inc Shangri-La in Northwest Yunnan

Old Towns and Snow Peaks inc Shangri-La in Northwest Yunnan

Lots of Places You Absolutely Want to Go Daybreak in western Yunnan. Clouds are tinted pink by the sun, rising over hills bounding the eastern horizon, beyond Erhai Lake. Below…

To the Spice Islands of Wallacea

To the Spice Islands of Wallacea

Approaching Ternate from the air, I see a volcano rising from tropical blue sea, with green slopes, clusters of small houses near the shoreline.  Nowadays, Ternate is an outpost of…